FC Viktoria Plzeň are one step away from a UEFA Champions League group stage debut after coming away from FC København with a play-off first-leg win.
FCK reached the round of 16 last season but now need a big victory in the Czech Republic next Wednesday after being caught out by two Plzeň goals in the space of seven second-half minutes. Sölvi Ottesen, responsible for the first goal at the wrong end, pulled one back but visiting substitute Martin Fillo restored the cushion with a magnificent strike.
Plzeň had an early chance when Milan Petržela pounced on a Pierre Bengtsson header but Johan Wiland smothered. FCK started to push and Dame N'Doye threatened with a curling free-kick. There was another scare for the Czech competition newcomers when Christián Bolaños burst into the visitors' box and cut in to shoot while a volley from Claudemir, later to go off injured, grazed the woodwork.
N'Doye was denied by a smart Marek Čech save just after the break, but on 52 minutes the Danish champions fell behind. Pavel Horváth headed David Limberský's cross over the top of the FCK defence for Daniel Kolář to chase and the challenging Ottesen screwed the ball into his own net.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when a cross was turned back by Michal Ďuriš into the path of Václav Pilař for a powerful low finish. FCK nearly responded immediately but Čech, signed from FC Zhemchuzhina-Sochi last week, produced a great reaction save when substitute Morten Nordstrand got his head to a Bengtsson corner.
From another Bengtsson set piece Ottesen headed in powerfully, and it seemed FCK might equalise. Instead Fillo, only just on as a substitute, chased a 79th-minute long Horváth ball down the right and curled in a superb shot from the corner of the box into the net to cap a memorable evening for the visitors.